This was SO FUN! Linda, Dad's girlfriend, and I planned this party together. It was so cool how it happened since six months ago I was thinking of doing a surprise party for Dad since it's the big 5..0, but with the move to southern utah I had given up on the idea. Then Linda mentioned that she was thinking of doing a surprise party without knowing I had had the same thought. It worked out great! We looked up friends through all the chapters of Dad's life. Dad didn't expect to see me on his birthday because I had just been up and will be up again for Nate's graduation. It was convenient though, that when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said, "Just to see your smile"... haha, if only he knew, because that was part of the surprise, that my family would be there too. So Last Wednesday we drove up there for the big night. Jennie, Linda's daughter, called and told them that she had locked her keys in the car and needed Linda's spare. Even though their schedule was tight for the night they decided they'd go help her out, thank heavens since this was the plan to get Dad to the party. I had gathered everyone (which was a lot of people!) to the upper and lower staircases that are right there as you enter the room. Dad walked in & we all yelled "Surprise!" He later told me that right then his blood pressure rose through the roof and he got an instant migraine through his right eye... hehe! I am so glad we got such a response! I think he was in a state of shock through the whole night even though he was so smiley as he greeted the guests and caught up with old friends! It was totally awesome. After we let everyone get some food we had a little program to honor Dad. Nate played a song we all love so much on his clarinet, absolutely beautiful! And then we had a "mini roast" as we let the siblings share stories or dirt ;) Jennie had written words to "Broadway Baby" to fit my Dad. She made him stand with her while she sang about him... and they danced. It was awesome!! Linda had bought some gag gifts that the boys and I presented to him as he sat in the hot seat! And then we presented the most important gift... Linda had gathered pictures of Dad's whole life from infancy to current & put them into scrapbooks. There were four 3" binders full of his life! I thought that was incredible! To end Linda played the violin as we sang "Happy Birthday" and Todd presented a cake all aflame! It was the best thing ever! I am so glad we did it, it was unforgettable!